Pursuing John Brown
Pursuing John Brown: On the Trail of a Radical Abolitionist
University of Akron Press, 2022, 458 pages, paperback
The idea for Pursuing John Brown began in Hudson, Ohio, where John Brown grew up and where Joyce Dyer has lived for forty years. In 2007, a chance occurrence started her off on the pursuit of her controversial neighbor, a quest that simultaneously pulled Dyer into his century, and John Brown into hers.
In this work of hybrid creative nonfiction, Dyer retraces John Brown's steps across the country, occasionally taking roads that lead to tangential sites. Along the way, intimate questions form about John Brown's personal life-his role as son, husband, father, friend. Her pursuit forces her to confront hard questions about slavery, race, violence, and American democracy and brings her closer to understanding John Brown, herself, and us.